As they packed away their pads, cleared out their personal possessions, and took as much stick tape as they could fit in their bags, the Sabres reflected on another season without the playoffs. It was a season that not only failed to reach high expectations, but also saw much organizational change with many long-time teammates and coaches nowhere to be found.
Over the course of the interviews and conversations, two topics kept coming up over and over - accountability and the rebuilding process.
Mike Weber started things off on the accountability front, saying that the team had lost accountability in the locker room over the past few seasons, and that it was something they needed to get back. Other players mentioned it as well, but Weber spoke passionately, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he and Steve Ott (who praised Weber's leadership) will make it their mission next season to bring that back.
The rebuilding process was the other topic du jour, especially for Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. Every player wished for a quick rebuild, unsurprisingly, but those two guys were very diplomatic in their answers to questions regarding their future with the team. They both seemed like they would like to stay and help the team win, Miller especially, but both were also preparing for the business aspect of professional sports, and the possibility of playing somewhere else next season.
We'll have more on all the most revealing, most honest, and juiciest quotes in the upcoming days, but if you can't wait to hear them yourself, here's audio from all the interviews conducted today.